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A total of seven two-a-days and nine night practices at the new Ray Nitschke Field highlight the training camp schedule for the Green Bay Packers in 2009.
The camp schedule, announced Wednesday by Head Coach Mike McCarthy, begins with a single practice at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. That is followed on Sunday, Aug. 2, by the first of seven two-a-day workouts, with a morning practice at 8:45 a.m. and an evening workout at 6:30 p.m.
The other two-a-days, all with the same practice times of 8:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., are scheduled for Aug. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20. The other single workouts at 2 p.m. are slated for Aug. 3, 7, 10 and 17.
The final two night practices are solo workouts on Aug. 24 and 30. Following the second preseason game vs. Buffalo on Saturday, Aug. 22, the team has no more two-a-days and will practice in either the morning or evening.
The Packers have incorporated night practices into their training camp schedule since McCarthy took over as head coach in 2006. These will be the first on the remodeled Nitschke Field, which now includes permanent lights and bleacher seating.
The annual Packers Family Night, presented by FOX 11, is scheduled for Saturday evening, Aug. 8, at Lambeau Field. The event will benefit the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program and will have evening activities get underway in the stadium at 5:30 p.m., followed by on-field football drills at 6:30 and the scrimmage at approximately 7:30.
One week later on Aug. 15, the Packers will host the Cleveland Browns in the preseason opener. Unlike last season, when the Packers opened their preseason slate on a Monday night, the preseason game schedule is more spaced out this year, with six days between the first and second games, and five days between each of the remaining games.
Important dates on the preseason calendar include:
* Saturday, Aug. 1 - First practice, 2 p.m., Ray Nitschke Field
* Saturday, Aug. 8- Family Night intra-squad scrimmage, Lambeau Field
* Tuesday, Sept. 1 - Last practice open to public, 10:15 a.m., Ray Nitschke Field; NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 75 players
* Saturday, Sept. 5- NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players
An economic boon for the Green Bay area, training camp annually attracts thousands of visitors and gives the local economy a significant boost. Camp again will welcome visitors from all over the country, and all over the world.
This marks Green Bay's 64th training camp, a tradition that began in 1946 under Curly Lambeau. One of the most intimate preseason settings in the NFL, Packers training camp is unique in several respects. Players have been riding kids' bicycles to practice since the Vince Lombardi era, and the team has lived in the dorm rooms at nearby St. Norbert College since 1958, the league's longest training camp relationship between a team and school.